Guidelines Aim to Help Perimenopausal Women Deal With Depression

The new guidance gives women and their doctors a “gold standard” of care during menopause transition.

US News and World Report | Nov. 2, 2018

“…NAMS paired with the National Network of Depression Centers, specifically the Women and Mood Disorders Task Force. “We thought it would be a wonderful partnership to bring together these experts to do these guidelines,” Maki says. First, the task force conducted a systematic review of all the literature. “We wanted practitioners and women to understand what we think the best approach is to this,” she explains.”

Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from mood disorders, with nearly one-quarter of all women experiencing depression at some point in their lives. The Women and Mood Disorders Task Group was formed to employ evidence-based research methods to better understand and address the unique biological and psychological issues impacting women at key life stages including pregnancy, postpartum and menopause, and to determine best practices for treatment.


Established in 2009, the Task Group is a “network within a network,” comprised of 40 members from 21 academic institutions. The Task Group seeks to capitalize on the strengths of a collaborative network by bringing together researchers, clinicians and staff from NNDC Centers of Excellence to impact the prevalence and burden of depression in women across the lifespan, and to better understand  the different ways men and women experience mood disorders.

The main priority of the Women and Mood Disorders Task Group is to promote collaborative research, education and clinical care focused on women with mood disorders. The Task Group takes a broad, multi-faceted approach, and includes faculty who specialize in women-focused research.

The Women and Mood Disorders Pooled Dataset Project is a cornerstone of the Task Group’s efforts to improve clinical care through the power of research. Launched in 2009, the Pooled Dataset Project is a subgroup within the Task Group, encompassing eight academic institutions and 16 individual databases, totaling over 30,000 research participants.  Its goal is to determine disparities in prevalence, course, and treatment use. The project was formed as an “early win” priority, generating interest and enthusiasm from members. An NIH grant proposal, still pending, was submitted in August of 2010, and has received a favorable score.


Flynn Heather A., Spino Catherine, Guille Constance, Deligiannidis Kristina M., Maki Pauline, Jahnke Jordan, Rosenblum Katherine L., Epperson C. Neill, and Weiss Sandra J. (2017).  A Collaborative, Network-Based Approach to Advance Women’s Depression Research in the United States: Preliminary Findings. Journal of Women’s Health. July 2017, ahead of print. https://doi.org/10.1089/jwh.2016.6261

Vigod, S. N., Tarasoff, L. A., Bryja, B., Dennis, C. L., Yudin, M. H., & Ross, L. E. (2013). Relation between place of residence and postpartum depression. Canadian Medical Association Journal. Retrieved from:http://www.cmaj.ca/content/early/2013/08/06/cmaj.122028.short

Weber, M. T., Maki, P. M., & McDermott, M. P. (2013). Cognition and mood in perimenopause: A systematic review and meta-analysis. The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Retrieved from:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23770320

Alpay, N., Kıvanç, Z. E., & Ulaşoğlu, C. (2013). The relationship between hormonal profile and depressive symptoms in menopausal women. Düşünen Adam: The Journal of Psychiatry and Neurological Sciences, 26(2). Retrieved from:http://www.scopemed.org/?mno=40581